Security

New Kaspersky Antivirus Protects Netbooks

Kaspersky Lab has announced an anti-malware product specifically designed for netbooks, the first to fill a potentially lucrative new software niche.

According to the company, Kaspersky Internet Security Special Edition for Ultra-Portables has been "optimized" for netbooks running the Intel Atom, Intel Celeron-M, or VIA C7-M processors that power the current generation of Windows XP-based small-screen wonders.

The product is so optimized that the company says it will not run on systems that don't use these microprocessors even those running on a variant of XP.

Netbooks on which the software has been found to run are the Samsung NC10, MSI Wind, Acer Aspire One, and more recent Asus EeePC models. A full list of tech requirements can be found on the company's website.

Given that the software is more expensive that the company's mainstream antivirus program, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2009, what are users actually getting for their money? After all, conventional antivirus products do run successfully on netbooks of the x86-compatible chip types specified by Kaspersky.

The software has many of the same features as the equivalent high-end product for mainstream x86 CPUs, including virus, Web and IM scanning, e-mail filtering, a firewall, and security for VPNs and even Wi-Fi. It even has the company's useful virtual keyboard the paranoid might find helpful in defeating keyloggers. The only omission appears to be antispam.

As to technical optimisation, the software only runs well at a maximum resolution of 1024 x 600, the company said, which suggests that some of the work has been done on making the application look good on a small screen.

The company was unable to furnish further details at press time, but it is likely that the application will also use tweaks to keep its various operations at a lower CPU priority setting by default. Kaspersky Lab's Internet Security Special Edition for Ultra-Portables costs £39.99 (approx $65).

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